Lionel Messi recalls people bad-mouthing him before World Cup glory

Messi believes critics in Argentina were "unfair" to him, however, circumstances have completely changed since World Cup win

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Monday, December 04, 2023
In this handout picture posted on the official Instagram account of leomessi, Argentina´s captain and forward Lionel Messi poses in bed with the FIFA World Cup Trophy at the Argentine Football Association (AFA) training centre in Ezeiza, Buenos Aires province, Argentina, on December 20, 2022. — AFP

Almost a year after Argentine football star Lionel Messi led his side into the record books with his country's second World Cup win, the star footballer has finally opened up on the bad treatment he received prior to his triumph in Qatar.

Prior to entering the 2022 football World Cup, the highly decorated forward was subjected to fierce criticism in his home country Argentina for failing to grab the covetted title despite having eight Ballon d'Or awards and numerous club trophies to his name.

Considered by many as the Greatest of All Time (GOAT), the Inter Miami star — who has been representing the national side since 2005 — wasn't able to lead them to their first victory at a major competition until the 2021 Copa America tournament.

Recalling the flak he received from his home country, Messi revealed that he and his family went through a "bad time" as Argentine critics were "very unfair" and bad-mouthed him, reported the indianexpress quoting the star footballer's interview for Disney Star+.

The legendary striker went on to say that since Argentine's triumph in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, circumstances have changed drastically with 95 to 100% of people having nothing but love for him.

Expressing his views on becoming the world champions, Messi said that he now believes that he has "won everything" the game has to offer.

He went on to say that winning the World Cup is what everyone aims for and that he is lucky to accomplish everything at both club level as well as individually.

"There are very few players who can say that they have achieved everything and thanks to God I am one of them,” he said.